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The Origin and Nature of Religion

Augustine Perumalil (Author)
Synopsis In an age marked by indifference, if not open hostility, to religion, on the one side, and fundamentalism and intolerance of other religions on the other, the author takes a fresh look at religion to examine whether religion has adequate justification and also to determine whether religions have a common ground, a shared vision, an ubiquitous purpose, or a collective concern that unite them all, making conflicts superficial and avoidable. Departing from the traditional emphasis on the externals of religion, namely, beliefs, institutions and practices, the author takes a close look at human nature, and human experiences to understand, define and justify religion. He finds that at this level religions share a common ground, and a common task. He identifies, as the common ground of all religions, the experience of awe in the presence of something experienced as extraordinary, eliciting an attitude of surrender and worship. In religion’s attempt to create an environment conducive for seeking and achieving freedom from negativities of life such as fear, anxiety, and guilt on the one side, and a sense of final fulfillment, on the other, he finds a common goal and a collective task of religion. The differences among religions are presented as superficial, arising from historical and cultural accidents. The way ahead for humanity, therefore, is to emphasize experience, striving and liberation over interpretation, doctrine, institution and method.
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About the author

Augustine Perumalil

Augustine Perumalil is a professor of philosophy at Satya Nilayam, Chennai.  He has done his PhD from Punjab University, Chandigarh, specializing in philosophy of religion and postdoctoral research in Loyola University, Chicago.  He has authored four books and a good number of articles in various national and international journals.  He is currently the director of Satya Nilayam Research Institute (affiliated to University of Madras) and the editor of Satya Nilayam, Chennai Journal of Intercultural Philosophy, a semiannual published in collaboration with the Vienna Society for Intercultural Philosophy.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Origin and Nature of Religion
Format Softcover
Date published: 09.06.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8172146140
length 316p.